Dye in, dye out, and the truth serum of muscle bound men

We’re no scientists here at Weekender but nonetheless we can spot an inevitable crazyhead decision when we see one.

And we see this: New Mexico, California and Illinois have banned Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from school campuses (campii?). Their reasoning is that “research suggests” that the crunchy snacks elicit brain responses similar to that of drug addicts.

So far, so predictable. Have you seen the ingredients of these things? Does anyone really think something advertised by some kind of bad-trip anthropomorphic cheetah wearing sunglasses is going to be health food?

But that’s only half of it. There’ve been reports of kids being taken to hospital after eating the heavily-dyed crisps because the dye also colours what we may euphemistically call their “memorandums of understanding” that come out the other end. Again, you know, anyone who’s eaten this snack can attest that red dye colours your fingertips. But concerned parents, having spied the inevitable result of digestion, have been worried that their little treasures are bleeding internally. Warning: this product may contain nutters.

Flip, flop and fly / don’t care if I die. So sang Jerry Lee Lewis back in the Stone Age. He probably wasn’t talking about the constant good for you / bad for you news about regularly taking multivitamins, but he may as well have been. This week, apparently, scientists have taken a good hefty spin of their wheel of fortune and it’s clicking its way around, fast, fast, a little slower, now slowly, slowly, and … stop. This time it has landed on… GOOD FOR YOU.

This is based on a trial of 15,000 male physicians, which indicated that long-term multivitamin scoffing on a daily basis resulted in ‘a modest but statistically significant’ reduction in cancer after more than a decade of treatment. The study is published by JAMA and began back in 1997. Weekender’s off to see if – oh, let’s say eggs – are evil or a panacea for all life’s ills this week and we will report back on the results, if we’re still wandering, delinquent yet hopeful, upon this sceptic isle of confusion some call existence.

Arnie is truth god

Want the truth? Ask a bodybuilder. That’s what researchers at the University of Bonn are (kinda) telling us now. Basically, in their test one group of men was given a testosterone patch and one a placebo. They then both played a dice game for cash and self-reported results. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the placebo group actually reported higher wins.

The extrapolation drawn from this is that somehow testosterone is some kind of influence on pro-social behaviour, increased concern for social status or acts on beliefs about others’ behaviour. Or maybe, Weekender offers, it makes you rubbish at gambling.

Couch potatoes don’t fare any better, though. A study using data from National Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study found that for every hour of TV watched by someone over 25, life expectancy in Australians was reduced by 22 minutes.

“TV viewing time may be associated with a loss of life that is comparable to other major chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity, smoking and obesity,” said the study, which pretty much marks Weekender out as knacked already. Ah well, pass the Cheetos.

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